Gail Buchalter (Chair)
Gail Buchalter joined the Board in 2004. She is the widow of the late Chair, Stuart Buchalter. The Buchalter family has played an integral role in Otis since the early 1980s. Originally from Cheyenne, Wyoming, Gail received a BA from the University of Arizona. She is an interior designer who attended the New York School of Interior Design. Passionate about philanthropy and the arts, Gail currently serves on the boards of Today and Tomorrow’s Children’s Fund of Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA, Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times’ Friends of Camp, and Junior Blind of America. She also serves on the MBA non-profit board of American Jewish University, and on the community grants board of the Jewish Community Foundation. “Design, talent, youth and creativity have always been part of my life and my life with Stuart. I am delighted to be a member of the Otis Board through which I am able to continue Stuart’s dream while making my own contributions to this remarkable College.”
Susan Crank (Vice Chair)
Susan Crank is a Vice Chair of the Otis Board of Trustees. She chairs the Audit Committee and serves on the Finance and Investment and Executive committees. Ms. Crank is Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of the Lunada Bay Corporation, a swimwear and active wear manufacturer in Anaheim, California. The company was founded in 1980, and Susan has been with the company since 1987. Lunada Bay designs and manufacturers swimwear under several licenses, as well as their own brands, Becca Swim and Rebecca V. In 1997 the Lunada Bay Corporation received the California Excellence Award for their contribution to the California Apparel Industry. Susan has served on the boards of the “Just Say No Foundation”, the American Apparel Manufacturers Association, the Surf Industry Manufacturer's Association Environmental Fund, and the International Swim and Active Market Association. She is currently on the Board of CommerceWest Bank in Newport Beach. In 1999, Orange County Metro Magazine honored Susan as one of the “10 Women Making a Difference in Orange County,” and in 2000 was named Environmentalist of the Year by SIMA. [more...]
Ms. Crank joined the Otis Board in 2004 after becoming engaged with the College as an Honoree at the 2004 Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show. "Design requires intuitive, creative talent that emanates from the soul as well as from the brain. And Otis, with its amazing faculty is the best at molding and nurturing talent into that delicate combination of the entrepreneur and the business mind set. Otis alumni have an unshakable foundation." [less...]
Rodney Freeman (Vice Chair)
A native of Los Angeles, Freeman attended the Architecture and Construction Management Program at L.A. Pierce College and furthered his studies at the Construction Management Program in the School of Engineering at California State University at Long Beach. He received his MBA at Pepperdine University, Malibu. Freeman continued his studies as a Wexner fellow. In addition to his degrees, Freeman holds a California State Contractors License. He has served as an arbitrator on multiple panels for the American Arbitration Association. Freeman also is a guest lecturer at UCLA’s Ziman Center for Real Estate. [more...]
Mr. Freeman has been associated with Otis since 1996 with the redevelopment of the current campus site. He served on the College’s Board of Governors until 2004 at which time he joined the Board of Trustees. He co-chairs the Facilities Development Task Force and serves on the Executive Committee. [less...]
Bob McKnight (Vice Chair)
Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees, serves on the Executive Committee. He joined the Otis Board in 2002 and has the distinction of being an Honoree at Otis’ 1999 Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show student and the parent of an Otis alumna. Bob graduated from USC with a BS in business administration, marketing and management. In 1976, he founded Quiksilver, Inc. and now serves as the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board. Quiksilver, Inc. (NYSE: ZQK) is the world’s leading outdoor sports lifestyle company, which designs, produces and distributes a diversified mix of branded apparel, wintersports and golf equipment, footwear, accessories and related products. Quiksilver products are sold in over 90 countries in surf shops, ski shops, skateboard shops, snowboard shops, proprietary Boardriders Club shops, other specialty stores and select department stores. [more...]
Bob is a former member of the Board of Directors of Southwest Apparel and Textile Manufacturers, and The Southern California Entrepreneurship Academy. He was the first President of the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association. “I really believe in the work Otis is doing. As a company, it’s important to be surrounded with creative individuals who come from a school like Otis, and have an eye for the new. Just when you think everything’s been done, they come up with some slight nuance that brings a renewed excitement to the product.” [less...]
Jennifer Bellah Maguire
Jennifer Bellah Maguire serves on Otis‘s Finance and Investment Committee and the Institutional Advancement Committee. She is a partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher‘s Los Angeles office and is co-chair to the firm‘s Investment Fund Group. She was a law clerk for the Honorable Mary M. Schroeder, currently Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. She holds a BA from Bryn Mawr College, magna cum laude, and studied at Sorbonne University. She graduated from Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif and served as an Associate Editor for the California Law Review. She speaks and writes French fluently and practiced in the firm‘s Paris office in the late ‘80s. [more...]
Ms. Bellah Maguire‘s practice focuses on private equity and mergers and acquisitions, including public company transactions and divestitures. Currently and for the past several years, Chambers and Partners has recognized her as a leading lawyer nationwide in the areas of Private Equity: Fund Formation and Buyouts and in California in the area of Corporate M&A: Private Equity. International Financial Law Review named her as a Leading Lawyer in US Private Equity 2006–2008 and 2010. The Los Angeles Business Journal also named Ms. Bellah Maguire among “The Best of the Bar” for Corporate Transactions in 2007. Recently, she was selected among the nation&’s leading attorneys for the Securities Law category in the 2010 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. [less...]
As Mattel Brands’ Senior Vice President of Global Marketing for Barbie, Girls and Games, Stephanie Cota oversees the global direction of businesses including the world-famous Barbie brand and the Monster High franchise. In this position, she drives the portfolio holistically, leading strategy, branding and marketing across all product categories. Additionally, Cota leads an internal creative agency responsible for but not limited to television commercial production, print, retail merchandising, outdoor, events, and social media. During her 13-year tenure at Mattel, Cota has led with break-frame and headline-making successes. Her entrepreneurial spirit and outstanding leadership skills coupled with her track record of partnering with best-in-class names has resulted in top market share, and continued business growth year after year. [more...]
Cota leads a team of 75 people, is responsible for approximately 1500 sku’s annually and a robust marketing budget translating to billions of dollars in retail sales. Cota also oversees strategic and designer partnerships including the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). Cota also regularly represents the portfolio in the media including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, WWD, Fox News and Forbes. Leading the Barbie brand during the most exciting chapter in its 50-year heritage, Cota played a pivotal role in the 50th anniversary including celebrating the doll’s fashion heritage with a first-ever runway show at NY Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, a birthday bash at a real-life Malibu Dream House designed by Jonathan Adler, and the brand’s first-ever global promotion celebrating the doll’s original $3 retail. Cota also led Barbie’s launch into social media. [less...]
Robert (Bob) Feldman is a retired corporate partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP (WGM) specializing in real estate acquisition, development and bankruptcy and restructuring. Feldman’s practice has covered the full range of real estate assets: retail, office, multi-family, hotel and resorts, land and housing, tax exempt bonds, mixed use developments throughout the US, and cross border transactions with particular emphasis on transactions in Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean. Feldman has represented financial institutions and developers in lending, restructuring and workouts, and was the principal counsel for several major developers and opportunity funds in major developments including Lehman Bros., Olympus Real Estate Fund, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Paine Webber Properties. In the non-real estate bankruptcy arena, he was the leader of a 25-lawyer team at WGM, representing the Chapter 11 Debtors’ estate of Enron Corporation in analyzing and negotiating settlements for the infamous off-balance sheet partnerships of Enron. [more...]
Feldman relocated to Los Angeles from Dallas upon his retirement. He remains connected to law as a lecturer at the UCLA Law School where he teaches “Transition to Law” and “Negotiation, Theory and Practice,” and serves on the Board of UCLA Health Sciences. Feldman’s appreciation of art and community volunteer experience in Dallas led to his engagement with Otis. He has been actively involved as a member of the Board of Trustees since joining in 2012. He co-chairs the Facilities Development Task Force and serves on the Executive, Finance & Investment, and Institutional Advancement committees. [less...]
Frederick Fisher (Ex-Officio)
Frederick Fisher is Chair of the Otis Board of Governors, and serves on the Educational Planning Committee and the Facilities Development Task Force. He has been involved with Otis since 1987 and joined the Board in 2003. His internationally acclaimed architecture firm, Frederick Fisher and Partners, designed the Galef Center for Fine Arts and Ben Maltz Gallery, and from 1988 through 1995, he served as Chairman of the Environmental Design Department. Fred won the 2008 Rome Prize in architecture from the American Academy in Rome and the 2013 Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects Los Angeles chapter. [more...]
Fred brings to Otis a passion for working collaboratively with artists and art institutions in the creation of studio and exhibition space: “The relationship between art and architecture is fundamental to my practice.” Dedicated to helping young artists explore their own new territory, Fred teaches and lectures regularly. He is married to former Otis Board and current LAX ART board member Jennie Prebor. Fred’s architectural firm is located in a classic 1950s courtyard office building, built by post-war modernist A. Quincy Jones for use as his own office. [less...]
Bronya Pereira Galef (Chair Emerita)
Bronya Pereira Galef has been involved with Otis since the early 1980s, both as Chair Emerita and Chair, Board of Governors. She serves on the Executive Committee and the Academic, Student Life and Campus Planning Committee. Bronya spearheaded a $4 million Capital Campaign fundraising effort. Otis' Center for Fine Arts is named for Bronya and her husband Andy, the chairman, CEO, and president of The Spectrum Group, Inc. They also founded the nonprofit Galef Institute to strengthen public school art education, especially in disadvantaged communities. Bronya’s past affiliations include the Board of the Rand Institute's Educational Policy group; Board of Reprise; and Co-Chair of the California Department of Education's Visual and Performing Arts Task Force. She is a Patron Board member of the Comite International pour les Musees d'Art, and member of the Board of Overseers of the Hammer Museum. An art collector, professional photographer, and journalist, Bronya believes that the arts are an essential dimension of human experience that must be promoted equally across all socioeconomic strata.
Bryant Garth joined the Board in 2013. He is currently Chancellor’s Professor of Law at the UC Irvine, He served as Dean, Southwestern Law School (2005-2012), Director, American Bar Foundation (1999-2004), and Dean, Indiana University-Bloomington School of Law (1986-90). His scholarship focuses on the legal profession, the sociology of law, and globalization. Two of his books co-authored with Yves Dezalay, Dealing in Virtue (1996) and Asian Legal Revivals (2010), were given the Herbert Jacobs Award from the Law and Society Association as the best books in the field of Law and Society. He is on the Executive Coordinating Committee of the "After the J.D." project, the first longitudinal study of the legal profession; co-edits the Journal of Legal Education; and chairs the advisory committee of the Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE). He is involved in philanthropy focusing on education with the Harle Garth Montgomery Foundation, of which he is President.
Elaine Goldsmith (Chair Emerita)
Elaine Goldsmith is an accomplished sculptor who chaired the Board of Trustees from 1983 to 1998, and has helped guide every major development of the College during the past four decades. First appointed to the Board of Governors in 1973, Elaine has recruited many other leaders to the Board and volunteer committees, and consistently plays a major role in organizing the annual Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show. She has also solicited many of the gifts from donors whose names appear on Otis studios and classrooms. She is a Chair Emerita, and serves on the Executive and Board Affairs Committees. In appreciation of Elaine’s outstanding service, the College named its five-acre Westchester campus after her and her husband, Bram, who is Chairman of the Board of City National Corporation. The Goldsmiths are active in a wide range of community and charitable organizations, including the United Jewish Fund, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, the Music Center’s Blue Ribbon Group, and the Hillcrest Country Club.
Kirk R. Hyde joined the Otis Board of Trustees in 2012 and is the parent of an Otis alumna and a BFA student. He graduated from USC with a BS in Business and a minor in Graphic Art. Presently, he serves as General Partner for KPC Limited Partnership, Hyde Family Partnership, and Hyde Properties, a timber management company based in Washington State. From 1975 to 1996, Kirk was President and CEO of Kirk Plastic Company, a manufacturer of high value plastic transaction cards and a card personalization bureau. He also served as President and CEO of Oberthur Card Systems USA, headquartered in Paris. Kirk has been a Board member of the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region since 1999, having previously served as Chairman, Treasurer, and as a member of the Nominating and Governance Committee. From 2004 to 2011, Kirk also served as a Board member of Goodwill Southern California and co-chaired Goodwill’s capital campaign from 2010-11.
Lawrence A. Lyttle joined the Otis Board of Trustees in April 2011. He chairs the Board’s Marketing Committee and serves on the Executive and Institutional Advancement committees. Mr. Lyttle is a communications consultant and advisor who spent thirty years in the television industry as an executive and producer. He served as Co-Chairman of BlueCollarOrDie.com from 2007–2008. He founded and served as President of Big Ticket Television from 1994 until 2003. He previously served as President of Spelling Television, and was Senior Vice President, Creative Affairs at Warner Bros. Television from 1982 until 1990. In 2003, The Caucus for Television Producers, Writers, and Directors honored him with their first annual Diversity Award. In 2003, Mr. Lyttle formed a consulting business advising political candidates and business executives on communications strategies. Mr. Lyttle was an Adjunct Professor at USC's, Film & Television School, Peter Stark Program from 1995 until 2001. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Center Theatre Group, and University Access. He holds an MS in Journalism from Northwestern University and a BA in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin.
Thomas R. Miller (Chair Emeritus)
Thom Miller is Executive Vice President of Marketing, and is responsible for marketing, communications and corporate strategic development at City National Bank. He is a member of the company’s Executive Committee and reports to Chief Executive Officer Russell Goldsmith. During his more than 30 years in marketing and advertising, he has helped position some of the world’s premier brands for companies like Ford Motor Company, Procter & Gamble, Mattel, RJR Nabisco, The Pillsbury Company, Sunkist and Universal Studios. His extensive experience ranges from product branding and strategic development to national political marketing and executive-level corporate management. [more...]
Immediately prior to joining City National, he was executive vice president and general manager of the L.A. office of Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide. Before joining FCB, he was president of Ketchum Advertising/N.Y., and a member of the board of directors of Ketchum Communications, Inc. He also served as chairman of the N.Y. Council of the American Association of Advertising Agencies. Mr. Miller earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Michigan State University. Active in community and civic affairs, he is immediate past president of the Los Angeles Conservancy board of directors and chairman emeritus of the L.A. Library Foundation. Mr. Miller currently serves on the boards of the United Way of Greater L.A. and the L.A. Parks Foundation. [less...]
Winifred White Neisser
Winifred White Neisser joined the Board of Trustees in November 2005. She chairs the Educational Planning Committee and serves on the Executive Committee. She is a Senior Vice President for Movies and Miniseries at Sony Pictures Television. Prior to that, she worked at NBC on TV movies and children’s programming. She has been involved with several charities and civic organizations, serving on the boards of The Television Academy, Women in Film, Harvard College, Lesley College, Planned Parenthood L.A., National Guild of Community Art Schools and the Center for Early Education. Winifred is very impressed with the diversity of students at Otis, and would love to help increase the profile of the school. A graduate of Harvard-Radcliffe, she has a degree in Linguistics, a MEd from Lesley College, and did post graduate work at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is very interested in folk art and is intrigued by the idea that some people are driven to create art.
Mei-Lee Ney joined the Board of Trustees in 2014 and serves on the Finance and Investment Committee. She is the president of Richard Ney & Associates, Asset Management, Inc., an investment management firm which she joined in 1973. She was the business partner and wife of Richard Ney, author of three books on the stock market: “The Wall Street Jungle,” “The Wall Street Gang” and Making It in the Market,” the last two of which she edited. She was co-writer and editor of “The Ney Report,” an investment newsletter, 1976 to 1999. Mei-Lee also serves on the USC Davis School of Gerontology Board of Councilors and the Board of the California/International Arts Foundation. She is active in community and arts organizations, including the Music Center, the L.A. Opera, the USC Pacific Asia Museum, Caltech Associates, and the Huntington Library; and is a member of the Valley Hunt Club and The Town Club. Mei-Lee believes the arts humanize us through their universal language.
Kerry Walk (Interim President, Ex-Officio)
Kerry Walk joined Otis as Provost in 2011. Walk earned her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and her B.A. from Wellesley College. Walk held academic leadership positions at Harvard University, Princeton University, and Pitzer College. She built and directed the acclaimed interdisciplinary Princeton Writing Program, and at Pitzer she spearheaded successful strategic planning and reaccreditation efforts. An award-winning teacher, Walk has 25 years of experience in the college classroom. Her publications, papers, and invited talks and workshops have focused on best practices in writing pedagogy, student writing development, and educational assessment. Her guide, Teaching with Writing, is used for faculty development in institutions around the country.
Diane Delpit Ziering joined the Otis Board of Trustees in 2012, and serves the Educational Planning and Institutional Advancement Committees. She earned a BA from UCLA in Political Science with a minor in Art History, and a JD from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. Although the legal field was an interesting profession, raising a family shifted her attention toward charitable causes that can better the standard of living for people of all ages and backgrounds. [more...]
Education, housing, and healthcare are at the forefront of Ziering’s volunteer and fundraising efforts. She supports several organizations, including Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA), CARE, Saban Free Clinic, L.A. Family Housing, and sits on the board of Xavier University Preparatory School in New Orleans, her parent’s hometown. Her interest in the arts remains strong, and she and husband Michael support the L.A. Opera and have hosted the Pacific Palisades Film Festival. She is currently a member of MOCA’s Drawings Committee and commits her time to the Otis Board. [less...]